New York isn't willing to go seven years (yet) for Cliff Lee as two other mystery teams have done so far, but GM Brian Cashman is gearing up to make a big six-year offer that lands in the $140 million to $150 million range as SI.com's Jon Heyman reports. That would place an average annual salary of $23 million to $25 million on the deal, which would make him the second-highest paid pitcher in history when looking at AAV. Current Yankee CC Sabathia has $23 million on the nose, which Lee likely will eclipse. The highest-paid pitcher is Roger Clemens and his ridiculous $28 million AAV for the Yankees in 2007, although the deal was pro-rated as Clemens signed in midseason.
The Rangers probably can't hang with Lee on the total numbers, but president Nolan Ryan expressed optimism that the club could retain Lee, saying that he values winning which may make the seven-year offers -- depending on which teams offered them, of course -- invalid. In addition, Texas has no state tax which would allow it to make lower offers but still hang with the Yankees on total actual dollars.
Here's Joe Girardi talking about Lee and Derek Jeter:
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